Homemade Hamburger Helper

I said it. Hamburger Helper. Yes, that childhood classic that was always awesome. Well now that I am grown, and now that I look at food labels from time to time, I decided it was time to make some Hamburger Helper with the use of some simple ingredients and not the forty or so listed on the box of Hamburger Helper.  Now to be clear, I have fed my kids Hamburger Helper in the past as I know that they would love it, and with that said, it my homemade version would be a nice comparison, not only for my kids, but also for myself. Let me also admit, I love Hamburger Helper. Simply put, it makes a great meal.

Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe

This is a very simple recipe, and it’s also a one pot meal, which I know my family (most) and I really love. Feel free to change this up making it your own version of your favorite Hamburger Helper, but for me, I went with a basic chili and garlic blend.


  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups of milk, warmed
  • 1 1/4 cup of hot water
  • 2 cups of elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp Hot Paprika
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of colby jack cheese, shredded

Start by browning your ground beef in a large skillet, crumbling it up along the way. Once it is full cooked, drain the fat from the ground beef, and return the skillet to the stove, over medium heat. Add in the pasta, giving it a good stir. Cook for a couple of minutes. Just the beef and the dry pasta.

During this time, add your spices, and corn starch to a small bowl. Give it a good mix, then set it aside.

Next add in the hot water, giving another good stir.

How to make Homemade Hamburger Helper

Add the milk and the spices.

Remember how that classic Hamburger Helper always had that shine to it? Well, that’s where the cornstarch comes in. Not only does it provide that nice shine, but it also helps thicken the sauce, making it super special.

Give the mixture a good stir, and cook this for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta become tender and the sauce begins to reduce down a bit as well as thicken.

Now it is time to add the cheese. Toss it on top, then give a good stir. Turn off the heat and get ready to serve.

Place in a bowl, and dig in. I can tell you that the flavor and texture is spot on. As I informed my colleagues at work that I made Hamburger Helper the other night, one simply said “Oh, really? Hamburger and noodles in skillet. Wow.”

This is more than hamburger and noodles in a skillet people. This is the real deal in taste, and without those forty or so unknown ingredients. Hope you enjoy.



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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

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